Ethnic Recipes

Cheryl Cirelli
Paella

A variety of ethnic recipes are enjoyed by many people on a regular basis. An ethnic dish is not necessary exotic or unfamiliar, it is simply one that is steeped in regional or cultural traditions, including specific ingredients and preparation methods.

Popular Ethnic Cuisine Flavors

Many families enjoy ethnic dishes as a departure from traditional family favorites or as a regular feature of their menus. Trying ethnic recipes is a great way to learn about a culture, both in terms of tastes as well as dietary habits, food preparation, and the symbolism and ritual of a good meal. Some popular ethnic backgrounds and flavors featured in recipes include:

  • Italian: Features ingredients such as basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic
  • Chinese: Uses garlic, shallots, chili, and spices
  • Spanish: Features fresh seafood, beans and rice
  • Indian: Uses spices such as cumin and cardamom
  • Mexican: Uses cilantro, tomatoes and hot peppers
  • Greek: Employs olives, feta cheese, and capers, often in salads
  • Polish: Uses cream, eggs, cabbage, and potatoes
  • African: Features fresh fruit and grains, along with key spices such as spices like saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves
  • Brazilian: Features rice, beans, and tropical fruits

Each of these ethnicities feature dishes that use ingredients specific to their heritages.

Simple Ethnic Recipes

There are many ethnic dishes that are simple to prepare. With just a few key ingredients, you can make something appealing to serve at your next meal.

Ethnic recipes add cultural diversity to any family menu. With unique flair and exotic tastes, these appetizing dishes are sure to expand any palate.

Mexican Salsa Verde

salsa verde

There are many salsa recipes that highlight the ingredients commonly found in Mexican cuisine. This salsa verde recipe is simple and combines bold flavors that blend well with one another.

Ingredients

  • 10 tomatillos, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Serve salsa with tortilla chips and fresh vegetables. Salsa can also be used as a sauce for seafood or chicken.

Italian Antipasto Platter

antipasto

Antipasto is served before the main meal in Italy. It contains cheeses, meats and vegetables. It is a simple dish that features the flavors of Italy.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of provolone and mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
  • 1/2 pound of hard salami, sliced thin
  • 1/2 pound of pepperoni, sliced thin
  • 1/2 pound of capacola
  • 1/4 pound of black and green olives, pitted
  • 5-6 pepperocini peppers
  • 2 cups marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 small jar of sweet red peppers
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 4 large leaves of lettuce
  • 1 bottle of Italian dressing
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. On a large platter, place the leaves of lettuce.
  2. Roll the cheese and meats and place on each side of the platter.
  3. In the center of the platter, place the olives, peppers and artichoke hearts.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped garlic over the top and drizzle with Italian dressing.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Serve with fresh Italian bread and breadsticks.

Greek Tzatziki

greek dip

This cool yogurt dip is a staple in Greece. Serve it with fresh vegetables or on top of roasted lamb or other grilled meats.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped fresh dill

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Using a whisk, blend in the yogurt, sour cream, and then the olive oil.
  4. Add in the cucumber and dill.
  5. Combine all ingredients and cover.
  6. Chill for two hours or until ready to serve.

Serve with warm pita bread triangles for dipping.

Tips for Ethnic Recipes

For authentic ethnic dishes, preparation is as important as ingredients. Pay close attention to each recipe's instructions, and use utensils, pans, and other equipment as instructed. While some alterations may be necessary, the closer the recipe is followed the more authentic the dish will look and taste.

Add Diversity

Ethnic recipes add cultural diversity to any family menu. With unique flair and exotic tastes, these appetizing dishes are sure to expand any palate.

Ethnic Recipes